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News/Business. The British Prime Minister answers questions from the floor.

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  CSPAN    P.M. Question Time    News/Business. The British Prime  
   Minister answers questions from the floor.  

    December 17, 2012
    12:00 - 12:29am EST  

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previewing the electoral college, explaining the department of homeland security program, how to respond to and recover from a terrorist -- on c-span. >> after the release of last week's statement on the british economy, prime minister david cameron announced that unemployment was down to 7.8%. that is the biggest quarterly fall in unemployment since 2001. the opposition leader welcomed the new figures but pressed the prime minister on his tax increases on middle income workers. the prime minister also answered questions on the immigration
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policy of the uk. this just over a half an hour. >> questions to the prime minister. >> this morning, i had meetings with ministerial colleagues. i will have further such meetings later today. >> mr. speaker, can my friend and confirm that the fall in unemployment figures is the largest since records began? will he meet with me to discuss how employment opportunities, including youth employment, can be promoted? >> i would be delighted to meet with my honorable friend to discuss the situation. he is absent -- he is absolutely right. the largest quarterly fall in a
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youth unemployment on record, 72,000 fewer people unemployed this quarter. obviously, there is no room for complacency. there are far too many people that are long-term unemployed. in these figures, we can see 40,000 more people in work. unemployment is down by 82,000. over 1 million extra private sector jobs under this government. >> mr. speaker, today's fall in unemployment and rise in employment is welcome. part of the challenge remains a stopping at the high level of long-term unemployment. does the prime minister agree that this remains of a fundamental importance, not just to people that are out of work, but to the country as a whole?
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>> i do agree that long term unemployment remains stubbornly high. the good news about figures today is that long-term a youth unemployment is actually down by 10,000 this quarter. that is encouraging. long-term unemployment is still a problem. that is why the work program and getting the work program wright is so important. it has 200,000 people into work. he said on the 18th of january, over the next year, unemployment will get worse under his policies. perhaps he would like to withdraw that. >> mr. speaker, i am glad the prime minister recognizes that long-term unemployment is still a challenge. i want to ask about people who are doing the right thing and finding work. the chancellor decided to cut tax credits and benefits.
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>> the fact is this. everybody who is on tax credits will be affected by these changes because we have to get on top of the welfare bill. that is why we are restricted the increase of out of work benefits. it is also the reason why we are restricting in work benefits. what we have also done is increase the personal allowance. on this side of the house, we believe in cutting people's taxes. >> he is raising the taxes of people in work. of course, he did not answer the question. the answer is, despite the impression given by the chancellor, there is over 60% of those affected in work. it is the factory worker on the night shift, it is the terror that looks a lot -- after the elderly people around the clock. and the cleaner that cleans the chancellor's office while his
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curtains are still drawn. the chancellor -- what does the prime minister call them up? >> he just said that we're not cutting taxes for people in work. somebody on the minimum wage who works full-time will see their income tax bill cut by one half by this government. the fact is, under this government, we have saved the working people. you can earn another 3,000 pounds before you even start paying income tax. that is why we have taken 2 million people out of taxes altogether. he should be welcoming that. this is the party or people who work. his is the party of limited welfare. >> of course, he is just wrong on the details. the institute for fiscal studies table says quite clearly that on
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average, working families are 534 pounds worse off as a result of his policies. i notice he wants to get away from what the chancellor of the exchequer said last week. we know what the chancellor was trying to do. he was trying to play divide and rule. this is what he said -- he said his changes were all about people living a life of benefits, still asleep while their neighbors got to work. mr. speaker, it turns out it just wasn't true. it is a tax on a strivers. will the prime minister now admit that the chancellor got it wrong and a majority of people here are working people? >> he says he has not gotten the tell right. we know he has bridged the detail. it is taking a 2000 page report
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and not reading it. that is his approach to detail. specifically and at the institute -- i'm surprised he is shot again this week. we learned last week that the condition out but he cannot take it. -- he can dish it out but he cannot take it. he never learns. >>order. i want to hear the prime minister's answer. >> specifically, answer the leader of the opposition's question. he mentioned the figures from the institute. they do not include the increase in the budget. they do not include the
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universal credit changes which come in next year which will help the working poor more than anything. under this government, we are lifting the personal allowance, we are taking millions out of -- we are standing up for those who work. >> mr. speaker, i have heard everything. when the boy from the bullying club lectors me about coleen. -- about bullying. absolutely extraordinary. look, he doesn't want to talk about the facts, but let's give him another one. he is hitting working families. the richest people in our society will be getting a massive tax cut next april.
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a break of 170 -- 107,000 pounds for people earning over 1 million pounds. is the prime minister the only person left in the country who cannot see the fundamental injustice of giving huge tax cuts to the richest while punishing those in work on the lowest side. >> the tax rate for the richest under this government will be higher under every year than they work for every year in the previous government. he obviously has a short memory. under his plans for the tax rate, millionaires pay 7 billion pounds less in taxes than they did previously. the point of raising taxes is to pay for public services. we are raising more money from the rich. where he is really profoundly wrong is the choice that he has decided to make. the facts are these -- over the last five years, people in work have seen their incomes go up by ted%, people out of work have seen their incomes go up by 20%.
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this is all at a time when people expect a pay increase, we should not be massively increasing benefits. that is what he wants to do. a party that is not serious about controlling welfare is not serious about controlling the deficit either. >> he claims to be robin hood. he is not taking from the richest and give it to everybody else. this is what he said about the autumn statement. he said this -- what happened is that some of their donors, very wealthy people, stamped their feet. they dropped the manchin packs and went ahead with the tax cut. -- mansion tax and went ahead with the tax cut. they hit people and they would never meet. and whose lives they would never
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understand. >> is donors put him where he is. it is perfectly clear mr. speaker what the labor party's choice is. it was more benefits paid for by more borrowing. they should listen to the labor tradesmen who said this -- you know what you call a system of government where what you do is say, we are in trouble, we will borrow in loans and give it to people. that is called greece. that is what the trade minister said. they are not serious about welfare, the deficit, or a serious party. everybody can see it. >> order. >> double very much. will the prime minister join me and the whole crowd in sending our condolences -- we urge
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anybody who wants to donate to the king edward the seventh memorial fund. >> i am sure the whole house and indeed the whole country will join the honorable lady and join me in paying tribute to this nurse and giving all our sympathies. she clearly loved her job, loved her work, cared deeply about health of her patients, and what has happened is a complete tragedy. there are many lessons that will need to be learned. i echo what she said about what in the press keep their distance. >> is the prime minister still intending to introduce to snooper's chartaer? does he realize that he will be
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spying and more people in britain than even all the press barons put together? did -- where did he get his advice and ideas from? >> i really believe on this issue i believe the honorable gentleman is wrong. i think this is a very important issue. i feel very strongly as prime minister aware you have to take responsibility first and foremost for security, national security, and a people's safety. data communications -- this is not content of a telephone call -- but the fact that phone call took place, it is used in every single terrorist case and in almost every single serious crime case. the question in front of the house of commons and house of
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lords is simply this -- because we currently have that data for 50 mobile telephone companies, and what will we do when tele- communications move over the internet? we could do nothing and not update the law. the consequence of that will be fewer terrorists brought to justice. i do not want to be the prime minister of the country that puts us into that position. >> -- >> mr. speaker, the government's proposal conflicts with article 29. does the government propose the repeal of magna carta? >> we do not intend that. i am sure he would understand i would like to learn about 1297 from the prime minister. the point we are making is the extent has massively increased. i think we can maintain access to justice but speed up the
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wheels of government a little. >> will the prime minister answer the question asked many times by my friend a few moments ago? will he confirm the majority of households will be hit by accountability and tax credit? >> the point i made is bigger. everyone on working tax credits will be affected. we have to control welfare to deal with the massive deficit. there is a choice in politics here you can either control welfare, or you can say, no to the control of welfare, borrow, spend, and build up our deficit.
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>> the liaison committee yesterday, the prime minister began by saying the government would except crucial members to make the justice and security bills acceptable on secret course. by the end of the session, by appearing to say he would not. would you clarify which one? >> what i said clearly to the committee yesterday is we want this bill passed through parliament after having listened to all of the points made in the house of laws. i am sure we will been listening even more carefully. these are oppositions catching the disease. we will listen very carefully. the fundamental choice is to
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make sure these proceedings are available to judges. it is judges that should make the decision. >> appropriate technology, middle ages. >> we have set out a regime of subsidies that stretches right out to 2017 and beyond. that is why the capacity of this country has doubled over the last two years. >> would you agree not only has this government had to deal with a catastrophic budget deficit, which we inherited from the former prime minister, but, also, a tidal wave of immigration deliberately fostered by the labor
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government? they are concentrating on the most important issues facing this government? >> that is an important point. immigration was out of control under the last government. net migration ran over 200,000 a year. 2 million across a decade. under the sensible controls we put in place, immigration has fallen by a quarter in recent years. what is interesting is you can have proper control of immigration while also sank to the world our universities are open to foreign students to study here and as long as they have an english language qualification and a degree, there is no limit on the numbers that can come. that is our policy, controlling immigration and making sure the best and brightest come to britain. >> iceland has huge economic
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difficulties and rejected austerity. unemployment is 2.4% more than the u.k. will the prime minister be gracious enough to congratulate iceland on working hard? >> if the case for an independent scotland is make us more like iceland, i am not sure that would totally recommend itself to the voters. i have a very good relations and i will make sure that remains the case. >> can i welcome the unemployment, where unemployment has fallen steadily.
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>> i am grateful for the point. we will continue for the use contract, and worked experience. what we are seeing is large numbers of people who go into work experience come off benefits, by a job, and find it is a good start to a career and a working career. that is what we want to see. i thank you. unemployment in scotland [indiscernible] is the prime minister as shocked as i am that some managers were encouraging employers to go into unpaid walk-in experience placements? will the prime minister condemn this practice immediately? >> an important point. we want work experience places
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to the additional places, encouraging more young people to get at least a feel for work so they have a chance to get a job. it is good he welcomes the fact that employment in scotland is up since the election. unemployment in scotland has fallen by 19,000 this quarter. we are making progress. >> mr. speaker. would the prime minister join me in welcoming the progress that is being made around the country since the autism act of 2009? will he join me in encouraging his colleagues and local authorities across the country to decelerate this progress next year when the strategy is due to be reviewed? >> may i pay tribute to my friend who was instrumental in getting the autism act onto the
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book. the impact continues right up to this day and beyond. the one all adults living with autism to live a 40 lives in a society that accepts them. i will make sure it is dealt with in a proper and coordinated way. >> the investment bank was due to be given new borrowing powers in three years. due to the failure to meet the target, because it was predicated on meeting the target set by the government, is the prime minister still committed to giving borrowing powers to the investment bank and if so, when? >> this government has set up a green investment bank in two years. the second point i would make its even at a time of fiscal
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difficulty, because of the mess we were left, we put 3 billion pounds of money into this. it does not need to borrow because it has the money to invest. what is needed is that equity risk finances. >> my honorable friend goes to a summit tomorrow. has he noted the federalization of europe? the parliament and only it is insuring democratic for the you? does he agree with this? >> i do agree with my honorable friend on this one. it is the national parliament
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that provides the real democratic legitimacy within the european union when we are discussing a banking union, it is to this house that represents our task appears that we should account. i bear that in mind when i am negotiating. >> can the prime minister confirm the statement reveals the government is now borrowing 212 billion pounds more than it previously planned to? >> i would take this with her plans were not to borrow even more. he was desperately disappointed it was predicted orlin would come down this year. that is a fact. >> the prime minister has rightly said we are locked in a
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global economic race. does he share my concern that having the highest aviation taxes in the world makes it harder for a business to compete and he increases the cost of living? let me ask the treasury to conduct a full review of whether it costs more than it brings in. >> i understand the point. we do not have any plans to commission a further response at this point. despite the challenges, we have limited the rise to inflation over the time of 2011 to 2012. they have only increased. i bear in mind what he says.
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>> can the prime minister confirm it will be published soon? could he tell the house whether he really believes this policies will increase or reduce child poverty? >> we want to see a lasting reduction. i think we need to have policies that address not only whether people are just above or just below the poverty line, but policies that actually address the cause of the poverty. what is it that traps people in poverty? not enough jobs. we need to look at all these things that trap people under poverty. >> plymouth as a global leader in marine science and engineering research.
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i very much welcome the initiative by the government to spend more money, but what my friend the willing to meet with me to discuss how plymouth might become involved in the broadband initiative? >> i am happy to meet with him. i know he stands up strongly for plymouth. we made the decision back at the start of the government to freeze the budget rather than cut it as so many other budgets were. i am sure that was the right answer. we have that money back into the budget since then. i will look carefully what he says about the city broadband. we are working very hard to make sure all the plants are on track to deliver the superfast
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brought than that is important for cities and rural areas. >> a serious threat proposed to democracy. the police have stated there is evidence of loyalist involvement. i take this opportunity to condemn this assault on democracy. will he agree to meet with me to discuss the security situation? >> i join her in condemning the violence we have seen. in no way are the people being
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loyal or standing up for britishness. by linda is unjustified. i agree completely. we should pay tribute again to the work the police to all of our behalf. i am always happy to eet and talk. >> will my honorable friends join me in congratulating my two young entrepreneurs who have taken the initiative? does the prime minister agree this is just the sort of